The importance of customer loyalty is often not lost on business owners, who rely on existing consumers for as much as 65% of their income on average.
What’s more, it’s estimated that increasing customer retention (which is as much as five times cheaper than acquiring new buyers) by just 5% can boost profitability by 25% to an impressive 95%.
Clearly, there are many reasons that underline the importance of building long-term and personal relationships with customers, but how can you go about achieving such an objective? Let’s find out!
- #1. Communicate in an Open and Transparent Way: Openness and transparency are key to any successful relationship, whether this is personal or commercial in nature. From a business perspective, firms must be open to listening to their customers and their cumulative feedback, while engaging in active and positive conversations through various off and online channels (such as social media). You should also employ staff members who can communicate effectively with customers, in order to have a positive impact over time.
- #2. Always Go Above and Beyond: Customers are now more discerning than ever before, especially in crowded and competitive ecommerce markets. So, you’ll have to exceed their expectations when incentivising customers and cultivating positive relationships, while under promising and over delivering over time. This can be partially achieved by running a loyalty program, for example, which rewards customers and affords them greater value for their long-term custom.
- #3. Connect, Connect and Connect Again: We touched earlier on social media, and there’s no doubt that channels such as Twitter have made it easier than ever to engage customers regularly in the digital age. More specifically, social platforms allow you to enter into real-time and natural conversations with customers, which allow the potential to sell products and services organically while also building mutually beneficial relationships.
These steps, when combined with a sense of brand authority and thought leadership, can cultivate a sense of trust between customers and brands and lay the foundation for loyal and highly beneficial relationships over an extended period of time.
Customer Retention as Part of Your Marketing Plan
As we can, customer engagement and retention are key to building relationships with customers, which is why they remain such critical elements of your overall business marketing plan.
As we’ve already touched on, it’s also considerably cheaper to retain customers than acquire them over time, so making this a key focus of your efforts can reduce your marketing spend and optimise profitability.
Similarly, if you manage your customer relationships well and effectively, you’ll retain a core consumer base that’s regularly incentivised to spend and potentially increase how much they invest with your business over the course of their transactions.
This is definitely a win-win for businesses across all markets and industries, while it makes a compelling argument for prioritising customer relationships and loyalty as part of your marketing efforts.